Jagger-Hilton Economics

Jagger-Hilton Economics

Photo credit: Janet Donovan

We’re not sure if Mick Jagger or Paris Hilton were invited to the book party for John Tamny at the home of Juleanna Glover, but they should have been. The pop culture duo are considered key factors in economic growth. Say what? 

“When we let the rich keep their wealth, the non-rich benefit from it,” Tamny told Hollywood on the Potomac. “The Rolling Stones escaped Britain’s 83% tax rate by making Exile On Main Street in the south of France.  The rich are mobile, but the middle class workers in England who would have helped create the album weren’t so mobile.  It’s those not rich who suffer taxes on the rich the most. As for Paris Hilton, let her hold onto her millions, that’s the best way to redistribute them.  If she puts them in the bank they’re immediately lent out to those not as rich as she.  If in a brokerage account her wealth is redistributed to companies looking to expand and create jobs.  If in a VC fund, she helps create the next Microsoft.  If in a private equity fund, her wealth is used to revive sick companies.”


John Tamny and Juleanna Glover

“Basically I wrote Popular Economics because I think that the economics profession has wrecked what should be very, very simple,” Tamny explained. “When I hear people saying there are no easy answers to economic growth, I’m just staggered by such an obtuse comment. I can’t think of anything easier than economic growth because it’s as simple as removing the barriers to productive people and let’s face it, we’re the United States. We’ve got the most productive people on earth. We’re a nation of immigrants we skimmed off the top from around the world. There’s no excuse for slow growth in the United States. But what economists I think have sadly done is they have turned it into charts and graphs, when in fact it’s just about human action.”


Forbes editor John Tamny uses entertaining stories from sports, movies, popular culture, and famous businesses to demonstrate the basic principles of economics. The Rolling Stones, the Dallas Cowboys, and Paris Hilton become examples of good and bad tax policy. The Godfather, Gone With the Wind, and The Sopranos reveal the downside of antitrust regulation, while the Michigan Wolverines’ 2007 loss to Appalachian State explains why regulations often fail to achieve their intended purpose. NBA star LeBron James’ exploits on the basketball court illustrate free trade and comparative advantage, while the cooking of chicken wings makes the case for a stable dollar. Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics is an everyman’s guide to how money really works—a lesson politicians try (and fail) to grasp every day.  Amazon


Kendall and John Tamny

“I decided in writing this book I was going to show the 4 basics to economic growth that, if you get it right, you never have long term stagnation. Taxes, regulation, trade and monetary policy. The idea was that anyone can understand this because if they know the world around them then they know economics intimately. With taxes, among other things, I thought if you want to understand taxes, let me show you the Rolling Stones migration in the 1970’s; that’ll tell you all you need to know about the destructive nature of taxation regulation. If you want to know why it doesn’t work and quite simply cannot work just look at Michigan’s loss to Appalachian State in 2007 football. That tells you all you need to know about why the regulatory state is a waste of time and a huge economic burden.”


“The idea of the book was let’s explain these 4 basics,” Tamny concluded.  “Once you do that people will clamor for something much better.  The big tragedy is that we are the richest nation on earth but we’re not close to what we could be. Violating the 4 basics to growth are so simple. That was the idea of this book. Show everyone why we can achieve much higher economic growth.”  We’re not sure we understand all this, but we’d like to thank Jagger and Hilton for their contribution to our well being.